A beautiful change to ordinary bread or rolls, filling, and goes with a whole host of Mediterranean dishes. It’s also great as an accompaniment for dips – even as part of a picnic or used as an alternative for pizza bases.
Makes 3 loaves
400ml lukewarm water
4 tbsp lukewarm milk
675g strong white flour
1 sachet of easy-blend dried yeast
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp Olive Oil
450g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
1 ¼ tsp easy-blend dried yeast
125ml lukewarm water
1. Make the bigger – sift the flour into a bowl, and mix in the yeast. Make a well in the centre, and pour the water and stir until the dough comes together.
2. Turn out onto a lightly floured worksurface, and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Shape into a bowl, and put into a bowl, covered with a damp tea towel. Leave to rise for 12 hours, until just beginning to collapse
3. Gradually mix the water and milk into the biga, beating with a wooden spoon. Gradually mix in the flour and yeast with your hands, adding them a little at a time.
4. Mix in the salt and oil with your hands.
Important: The dough will be very wet. Do not add extra flour!
5. Re-cover the bowl, and leave to rise in a warm place for a further 2 hours, or doubled in size
6. Dust 3 baking sheets with flour, and divide the dough between the three sheets, without knocking any air out of the loaves.
7. Gently shape each dough ball into a rectangular loaf, and then flatten slightly. Dust the top of the loaves, and leave to rise for 30minutes.
8. Pre-heat the oven to 220 C/ 425 F/ Gas Mark 7.
9. Bake the loaves for 25 to 30 minutes, until the crush is light gold, and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the base with your knuckles
10. Cool on wire racks
Photo courtesy of girlwparasol